Mike Wallace and the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports w/ Gary Keller had an interesting night in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday. His teammate, Darryl Harr, drove the No. 4 iWork.com Chevrolet for this event.
After the first practice session on Friday at the 7/8th-mile oval, Wallace was 29th on the chart and Harr was 35th. When the Happy Hour practice ended, Wallace was 28th and Harr was 38th on the scoring pylon. When qualifying ended on Saturday afternoon, Wallace was slotted in the 28th spot and Harr in 41st place.
From the initial start, Wallace worked his way around the banked turns to see how he could improve on the car’s handling. He would start to move up the chart cracking into the top-25 and holding in those positions.
The team didn’t need to look for cautions to make their first stop for adjustments as NASCAR had already put in a pre-determined competition caution on lap 50. Crew chief Newt Moore and Wallace made that stop for tires, fuel and needed adjustments.
However, for the rest of the race they had their work cut out for them as only two more yellow flags flew throughout the race.
This caused teams to make green-flag stops and calculate fuel mileage throughout the race. Wallace became victim to running out of fuel and had to coast to pit road. While coming in, without the engine running, he was assessed a “Too fast entering” drive-thru penalty.
Getting back out, now down laps to the leader, the fuel mileage game inflicted the team again as it happened before the next scheduled stop. He coasted back down pit road, under green, made the stop and topped off with fuel before returning to action.
From there, he would race his way into the top-20 looking to gain as much as he could; while being stuck where he was on the scoring chart. The veteran he is, Wallace did what he could to stay out of harm’s way and earn a 25th-place finish in the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet when the checkered flag flew on lap 250.
Harr battled handling conditions to finish 33rd in the iWork.com Chevrolet. Wallace remains 15th in points, trailing 14th by only five markers.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series wheels its way to Watkins Glen International for next weekend’s road course race; which will be on ABC TV.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “This wasn’t the type of race I can remember experiencing in a long time. The competition caution came at a good time, but to have only two more after that in a 250-lap race is odd.
“The long green-flag runs got us on fuel mileage that one time. I was trying to be as slow as possible coming in, but when the car isn’t running it’s tough to gauge the tachometer based off coasting speed. So, I got the drive-thru penalty for being too fast entering.
“That knocked us off our strategy a bit and then we ran out of fuel, again, and had to coast back down pit road under green. From there, it was just get the best finish possible and keep the car in one piece – which we did manage.
“Watkins Glen is next week and I really enjoy that road course, so we’ll head up there and get back some of what we lost in Iowa.”
Source: Packman PR